Closing arguments in fast-food shooting trial

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by Mike Watkiss

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azfamily.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 7:19 PM

Map: 51st Avenue and Baseline Road

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PHOENIX  --  A judge heard closing arguments Monday in a case that's been called a "reverse-Trayvon Martin case." The trial focused on a man who claimed self-defense after opening fire outside a fast food restaurant.

It started with a confrontation in a drive-through lane of a Taco Bell at 51st Avenue and Baseline in April 2012.

29-year-old Daniel Adkins was walking his dog when 22-year-year old Cordell Jude was pulling his car out of the restaurant's the drive-through lane. He reportedly almost ran over Adkins.

Adkins allegedly hit the car and yelled at Jude. That's when Jude says he feared for his life and pulled out a gun, shooting and killing Adkins.

Police didn't arrest Jude after the shooting. But four months later, a grand jury indicted him.

Jude claimed self-defense. But in her closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Kirsten Valenzuela told jurors that Jude's actions constituted second degree murder. "Words alone are not enough to invoke self-defense," she said. "This defendant overreacted. He was already being reckless and he drives around Arizona with a gun and one in the chamber ready to go."

But Jude's defense attorney said Adkins posed a threat to Jude and his pregnant girlfriend, who was also in the car. "When someone is trying to enter your vehicle, you can use deadly force," said Ursula Gordwin.

The jury could get the case by Tuesday.

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